I am beginning to think that any attempt to create an "ideal" or "utopia", will end in defeat and much suffering. But, pragmatism is functioning in the real world, with "real world" solutions, which is what philosopher kings do in formulating policy. The battle of ideas within our nation's think-tanks, in the halls of Congress and in the judicial chambers, all must go into the mix of the "stuff' of reality in the real world.
Historically, we have seen much suffering come from Hitler or Mussolinni's facism, or Stalin's communism. These ideological frames of political functioning are based on racism, economics, or government. All of these forms are not our form and should not be seen or understood as necessary policy.
There has been discussion whether a minority rights law should continue to be renewed, as it protects the rights of minoirities in discrimination, as to the job market. Others have thought that the time for unions is over, as our economy changes. All of these laws and policies are understood within the larger frame of what kind of policy will express our government in today's globalization, while furthering our needs for diplomatic relations.
Self interest is not a bad thing, it is only when policy has been decided without any consideration and/or input from those who will be impacted. This is only acting justly and we should value ourselves as a just nation. Even with good intentions, America has been misunderstood, when others have miscontrued our intent, with abuse of power. Although we have not, nor can we act completely free from self-interest, our self-interest has to be revealed, while acknowledging to the other what would benefit them in the treaty or at negotiation stage. This is just good diplomacy as it behaves respectfully toward the other nation.
What do we do with situations that undermine treaty, or does not breed trust when it concerns foreign policy? This is a good question for Obama and his cabinet to consider in his new open government policy.
I will be looking forward to hearing about it!
Arvo Pärt at St. Vladimir’s Seminary
3 hours ago